Above: Tyler works at the white board while other students in his Grade 2/3 class look on.
‘Incubating’ Success and Embedding Technology into all Levels of Learning at St. George-German Public School
St. George-German Public School is on its way to being recognized as a Microsoft Showcase School as it got the good news recently of acceptance into the Incubator Path program, the only school in Canada to receive this global distinction.
Right: Grade 3 student Aubrey using the Read To Me feature in Epic.
“This provides us with an international network to access other Microsoft Showcase Schools, and gives us the ability to collaborate and share learning on a scale that wasn’t possible before this certification,” explains Melissa Schroeder-Hribal, Grade 2 teacher who was part of the collective staff effort to bring this new layer of learning with technology to the school. “We’ve seen significant growth towards adapting 21st Century Competencies within our school community, and are excited to share how our students are embedding technology literacies into their daily learning.”
To be recognized as an Incubator School through Microsoft, schools must demonstrate a strong commitment to technology-driven instructional practices supporting student success, and the distinction means St. George-German is now part of a global community of schools which have also made this commitment of using innovative technologies to strengthen achievement and engagement. It also means access to a network of other educational leaders, additional supports, and tools and resources to continue the momentum the school is fostering.
Right: Senior Kindergarten student Brooklyn shows how an app on the iPad can be mirrored onto Bright Link.
At St. George-German, this commitment starts early, with students in Kindergarten utilizing tech as a tool for documentation and collaboration with the help of iPads and Apple TVs in the classroom. Students in primary, junior and intermediate grades learn together by navigating their Microsoft Office 365 accounts, and using Brightspace, Class OneNote and Teams to enhance curricula. Ongoing staff collaboration, a cornerstone of the Incubator Path program, allows educators to share resources and best practices to provide additional opportunities for students to engage.
“Technology provides a key equity piece for the learners in our school community, allowing them to communicate in different ways and share ideas that can get lost in the limitations of pen and paper,” says Schroeder-Hribal, echoing Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, which includes Technology as one of its key pillars. “A voice or idea that may otherwise have not been heard now leads to student empowerment and learning.”
Right: Grade 2 student Isabella documents her Thanksgiving art using D2L’s Portfolio Funster tool, adding to her digital portfolio.
Adaptability is a big part of the world of technology, both for educators and students. With technology now providing a fundamental link to the classroom for many students learning online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, access to these tools of collaboration is more important than ever.
“The goals we’ve set are ambitious and flexible to meet the changing needs of our school community.”